[Marxism] Affirmative Action

Joaquín Bustelo jbustelo at gmail.com
Sat Jun 21 18:01:00 MDT 2008

On one of the dead journalist threads, Shane Mage wrote about
Moynihan's policy recommendation of "benign neglect:"

"However, I don't think Nixon ever took his advice: on the contrary,
by initiating the 'ultra-liberal' program known as 'affirmative
action' he gave new vitality to lower-class white racism--a policy
that deserves to be called 'malign attention.'"

I know Shane Mage was been a political opponent and ideological enemy
of the Black Liberation Movement since his days in the "Revolutionary
Tendency" of the SWP ("Revolutionary" as in more revolutionary than
Fidel), counterposing to Black Nationalism something called
"integrationism" ("revolutionary" integrationism, of course...), but
it is more than a trifle dishonest to credit Nixon with "initiating"
affirmative action.

Affirmative Action and related demands (such as reparations) for what
the Brits quite aptly call "positive discrimination" was and remains a
central demand of Black people. As for white racism (there ain't no
such thing as "lower class white racism," just like there ain't no
such thing as "the white working class") its real material basis is
not Black privilege ("affirmative action") as Mage asserts but white
privilege -- the REALITY of white supremacy -- which Mage seems
blissfully blind to.


More information about the Marxism mailing list